How to Move an Aquarium: Part 1

Moving fish and their aquarium probably appears to be a hard task, especially if your new place is several hours away and you’re relocating to a building without elevator access. Trips can be stressful on fish, so transferring them long distances requires special handling — and you have to be more careful when dismantling and moving the fish tank to avoid causing damage to the glass.

However, even though it’s a big project, with a little thought and preparation, it is possible to be successfully performed. Through prior planning and informing yourself about the important details of moving an aquarium, you can ensure the tank arrives intact and that your aquatic friends remain happy and healthy.

How do you move an aquarium?

If you’re faced with moving a large fish tank without professional assistance, you have to know the best way to tackle such a demanding task. Here’s some advice on how to relocate your aquarium on your own.

Step 1: Gather equipment

Having the proper equipment can help the process go quickly and smoothly. Here is what you need:

  • Net
  • Siphon hose
  • Plastic baggies
  • Duct tape
  • Insulating foam sheets
  • 5-gallon buckets (use new ones or those that haven’t been in contact with chemical products)
  • Paper pads
  • Bubble Wrap
  • Big boxes
  • Packing paper

Step 2: Ready the fish for the trip

Depending on how far away your new destination is, selling your fish and buying new ones once you settle in might be the easiest option you have. However, if you don’t want to leave them behind, there are things you’ll need to do to prepare the fish for a relocation.

Halt their feeding 24-48 hours before to allow enough time for waste to pass (a fish that is well-fed can survive a week without being fed). Then, choose the best mode of transportation based on the time you are traveling. Remember that no matter how close or far your new place is, the fish cannot be moved in the aquarium. Here’s how they should be transported instead:

Less than one-hour moves

If you are moving locally in Toronto, place the fish in a plastic bag. First, fill a plastic bag with tank water. Then, using the net, catch one fish at a time (one fish per bag is advisable). To help reduce their stress, place the bags in a dark cooler in the car and stuff Bubble Wrap around the bags to avoid them rolling around and bursting. And, to ensure they can breathe, visit a local pet store to have pure oxygen added to the bags.

One to six-hour moves

For longer distance moves, it’s best for fish to travel in 5-gallon buckets. Fill the buckets about halfway with tank water, and then use the net to put 3-4 fish into the container (it is advisable to separate the hostile ones). Seal the buckets with airtight lids and use duct tape to prevent any spills.

Relocations that last a couple of days or weeks

For moves in Toronto that are extended, ask your local pet store about options for accommodating them and shipping them to you (through airmail) once you are ready to receive them.

Step 3: Clean out the tank

Once the fish are ready, concentrate on packing the aquarium. Begin by unplugging the lights and the heater to allow them to cool down. Then, remove plants and wrap them in damp newspaper or place them in a 5-gallon bucket with tank water. After that, take out all the decorations (gravel, rocks, ornaments, etc.).

Use warm water to clean them, dry them off and then pack them in bubble wrap or packing paper. Finally, remove the pump, light, heater and filtration system (you should pack the filter damp to retain good bacteria).

Once everything is wrapped separately and securely, pack them all in one moving carton and label delicately. Having everything in one place will make finding and setting up easier at the new place.

Which local moving company in Toronto will move my aquarium safely?

Aquariums are not only delicate, but also heavy and bulky, which makes the matter of moving them a lot more difficult than it would initially seem. Although you might think it’s easier to go it alone, you should always consider hiring a reputable local moving company in Toronto to help you out.

Miracle Movers is your dependable local moving company that will provide professional assistance when moving your aquarium. Let us handle the relocation while you visit the Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada and enjoy yourself? Contact us today1